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Archive for the ‘Tattoo Nightmares’

This Common Myth Led a Spa to Refuse a Woman With Breast … – The Mighty08.12.17

To Those Who Were Diagnosed with Breast Cancer Prior to May 2014,

I, Rebecca S., need to apologize to you. I am incredibly sorry. I was nave. I was young. I was ignorant. I was pink-washed by our survivor culture mentality.

As a teenage leukemia graduate (Im using the word graduate and not survivor intentionally because new research says my own breast cancer may have been a treatment result from my previous cancer, so calling myself a leukemia survivor seems fraudulent), I should have known better. I was 32 years old and never had a close relationship with anybody who had breast cancer before. I never could have possibly dreamt in my worst possible nightmares that just six days before my 33rdbirthday, I would be the first person in my world to receive this diagnosis and join your ranks.

Every October, I watched the morning talk shows while getting ready for work. I flipped through the magazines while in line at the grocery store. I saw the photoshopped images, promotional materials and advertisements promoting walks and runs for the cure while going about my day. I listened to celebrities share stories about their own experiences with breast cancer, chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

I tuned them all out. I ignored all of you, and I am sorry.

All I saw were pretty women who looked healthy, talking positively about their journeys. It seemed like breast cancer was no big deal an easily beatable obstacle that could be overcome with the right amount of perkiness.

I remember being in my bedroom in October 2013 thinking to myself, What is the deal with these women? They all seem fine. Why cant they just move on? I survived my own cancer diagnosis 19years earlier and I didnt feel the need to be a featured story in a major media outlet.

Little did I know, while I was thinking those horrific thoughts, breast cancer was brewing and growing in my own body (specifically my left breast, lymph nodes, lungs and sternum), and my bubble was about to be burst wide open.

In late April 2014, while putting on a bra, I felt a lump on my left breast where the underwire hit. It was almost as if it popped up overnight. One day it was not there, and the next day boom a palpable, unmovable mass. Based on my prior cancer experience, I knew enough to not wait and see butto get it looked at right away.

I am very grateful that I followed my instincts. Within a matter of weeks, I met with my gynecologist, who felt it and sent me for a mammogram a few days later. I ended up having a biopsy the same day.

After a long weekend of waiting for the confirmation (that I knew was coming), I got it at work on Monday morning on May 5, 2014. The call that verified my suspicions that the biopsy was going to be malignant for breast cancer came through while I was planning a Mexican food lunch outing with co-workers in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

My first thought was, OK, I had chemo for two years from ages 14-16 and went into remission right away. Clearly my body responds well to chemotherapy drugs. If I did it then and for that long, I can certainly gear up and do it again. No problem. Ill be fine! Plus, my breasts are saggy. Maybe, they can even throw in a lift and make them perky!

I went into straight business mode and scheduled my first appointment to meet my new oncologist who would literally become my life-saver and best friend. After our initial consult she staged me as 3B, but decided (thankfully) to throw in a just in case PET scan to be sure.

Needless to say, we were all thrown off guard to find out I was in the 10 percent of patients who were metastatic stage 4 de novoand even among the fewer percentage of breast cancer patients who were diagnosed younger than 35 years of age.

I have actually tried to figure out the odds of me having the exact diagnosis I have, and it is beyond impossible. I am a cancer overachiever, especially since I have both triple positive and triple negative cancers at thesame time. And now, while I have been stable from the neck down for over a year, I have been dealing with brain metastasis for a year-and-a-half.

I think the odds of my unusual breast cancer diagnosis are less than 0.05 percent. I am an anomaly. If something is against all known statistics, research, patient experiences and facts, I am bound to be in the low percentage of people who will break the bell curve and stump the doctors. My oncologist and I jokingly call it The RScheinkman Syndrome.

What can I say lve always liked to keep people on their toes!

Three years have now passed since I have been initiated into the breast cancer community and was welcomed with open, comforting arms from men and women from all over the world. I am taking this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. I am also unburdening myself of the guilt I have retained before I truly understood the impact and effect any stage of breast cancer diagnosis has.

I know now a mastectomy does not equal a free breast job or lift. That walks or runs for the cure do not always equal money raised for research. And that even completing treatment for breast cancer does not mean you will ever really be done and over it. It all too frequently comes back with a vengeance.

I get why people want to be featured in the media (in fact, I personally have and continue to do, as well) to share their stories and experiences. It is to educate people like pre-breast cancer me to get them to understand, wake up, listen and pay attention.

That is why, in part, I feel so passionately about speaking candidly about my life living with metastatic breast cancer. Its why Im furthering education, understanding, advocacy and the need for breast cancer research, especially amongst my peers.

I want to attempt to speak on behalf of those of us facing this cancer, as a way to relieve my own personal lingering guilt. I am one of the few people in my circle who has been personally impacted by this disease. It is important for my friends and their friends, and others in their 20s and 30s, to see the truth behind the pink and not to be as blinded as I was.

We are told only women 40 and older need mammograms and that breast cancer is not something we need to worry about yet. But just from looking around our collective cancer center waiting rooms, that isnt true. I am among way too many of the younger faces in the crowd.

Once again, I am sorry for my pre-diagnosis thinking. I hope my tireless fundraising, advocacy work, writing and contributions to the metastatic breast cancer community more than makes it up to all of you.

Thank you,Rebecca

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We Asked Tattoo Artists About the Weirdest Pop-Culture Ink They’ve Done – VICE08.12.17

We Asked Tattoo Artists About the Weirdest Pop-Culture Ink They've Done
Personally, I have [a tattoo of] Super Mario on a pogo stick with a mushroom cap hat. I also have, you know in Nightmare Before Christmas there was a little toy duck on wheels? I have that tattooed on me. And I actually have a huge thigh piece that's

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We Asked Tattoo Artists About the Weirdest Pop-Culture Ink They’ve Done – VICE

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Vignettes of a fat girl’s life – Duke Chronicle08.11.17

Recess | PlaygroundByNina Wilder |Wednesday, August 9Photo by Nina Wilder |The Chronicle

The paper that adorns the examination rooms bench crinkles and bunches as I hoist myself onto its surface. I kick my legs absentmindedly and gaze at the medical posters on the wall, silently willing my heart to stop beating so painfully fast. I emit a nervous, uncomfortable sigh. A nurse has just weighed me. By now, Ive learned to dart my eyes away from the menacing scale, glancing anywhere but at the digital screen that will assign a very precise number to my self-hatred. Except this time, I catch the nurses scribble on my medical chart, and my heart plummets to the ground. Is that really how much I weigh?

Ive become quite adept at avoiding visits to the doctors office. Colds and coughs are self-medicated with lozenges and DayQuil, and I rarely remind my mom if Im overdue for a pediatric appointment. Im only here, in this nauseatingly sterile nightmare, for the onslaught of immunizations required to attend college. But I know, in the tightest knot of my stomach, that the conversation will steer, as it always, inevitably does, in the direction of my weight.

My doctor is well-intentionedthey always arebut I dread the platitudes Ill have to endure about how rewarding a thin body will be, how weight loss will alleviate my sadness, how my habitual binge eating is entirely my choice. As if its normal that I began my first diet when I was in the fifth grade, that Ive been aware since I was child that I was not small like the other girls. I squeeze my eyes shut until I start to see stars and tighten my grip on the edge of the bench, bracing myself for the tears that begin to slip down my cheeks in indescribable exhaustion.


A groan escapes my lips before I can stifle it. Im scrolling through my phones photo roll at a frenzied pace, trying desperately to locate any photos of myself that arent selfies captured with the front-facing camera of my iPhone. Attempting to find pictures that accurately represent my body for my Tinder profile is nearly impossibleduring my middle and high school years, Id avoided the sneering lenses of cameras to the best of my ability. I feared knowing what I looked like to others. I resented how distraught Id become when friends took photos of me off-guard, pleading with them in embarrassment until theyd finally erase the picture. If there was no evidence that Id ever existed with this exact body, perhaps when I was finally skinny and beautiful I could convince the world Id always been that way.

Really, I dont even want to make a Tinder profile. Its the antithesis of everything Ive tried to build my life around. It prioritizes the pure aesthetic of an individual and conventional standards of beauty, reinforces the male gaze upon womens bodies and encourages callous, often vitriolic judgement of others appearances. But Im also a fat girl whos never been asked out on a datelet alone been kissedand Im sad and lonely and desperate for someone to tell me that Im pretty. I cant remember the last time a man told me I was pretty.

Im still unsure about which photos I should include on my profile. I feel immense pressure to advertise myself correctlyto make sure everyone on the dating app is aware that I am, in fact, fat; to guarantee full disclosure and avoid any shocking first-date revelations. Eventually, I become so engulfed in frustration and self-loathing that I delete the app off of my phone entirely, resolving that online dating is, perhaps, not meant for people like me.


The dress is a little tight, but a good tightthe fabric is snug against the slope of my waist and chest, gently flaring out over my hips and thighs. The spaghetti straps reveal my plump upper arms in their entirety, which only bothers me slightly. Examining my reflection in the dressing rooms full-length mirror, I twist and turn, taking in my appearance from every angle. I let out an involuntary, childlike giggle. I cant help it. Im overwhelmed by how beautiful I feel.

Its a feeling that comes and goes as effortlessly as the tide. Some days are far easier than others. Today, though, I hold onto the wave of self-love for as long as I can muster, letting myself believe, if only for a moment, that Ive always been this lovely. I decide to buy the dress, not bothering to glance at the price tagit doesnt matter how much the dress costs. Being able to relive this moment every time I slip its fabric over my head is, unquestionably, priceless.


I writhe a bit as the tattoo artists needle gun grazes the soft, pliable flesh of my inner forearm. I decided on the design earlier that daya strip of 35mm film, emblematic of the medium which brought meaning to my life on more than one occasionand Im only slightly terrified of the modification Im making to my body. The ink is applied to the part of me that I can look at for hours without feeling uncomfortable. I want to be able to stare at my tattoo without fat rolls or cellulite or stretch marks hindering its beauty.

But as the artist finishes his masochistic endeavor upon my forearm, I cant help but feel empowered. Its an alteration to my skin that I asked for, a visible reminder that I am, ultimately, the singular owner of my body. My flesh is only there to encase my organs, to house my vibrant, curious brain, to swath my blood which flows freely and easily within me. The body Ive hated for as long as I can remember, the body Ive desperately tried to morph and minimize, is not where my story begins, nor where it ends. Ive spent so much time resenting my reflection that I’ve forgotten my bodys fundamental purposeto push me forward and carry me onward as I try to live an existence I can look back on with satisfaction.

I stare at my newly inked tattoo and my mouth quirks upward in a smile. I feel calmness spread outward from my ribcage in every direction, bursting from my ventricles and curling around my veins with contagious warmth. At once, I feel content existing within the confines of my body. I feel powerful and capable and inexhaustible. And for what seems like the first time in my life, I feel alive.

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Vignettes of a fat girl’s life – Duke Chronicle

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Four You – Urine Trouble! – (blog)08.10.17

We lost 10 AM the previous seven. Podcasts are always on him. Mind you schedule and WA AF. You stood for the fourth thing you should know history rules London plot never got less than twelve hours a week. I’ve got this thing first Manassas city never going your way who’s got a tattoo that yeah this is for you from Marion did. K first up this is gonna be crippling news for hippie juice bag industries. Run by my partner nick Stephens. If you think you wicket fancy because you good Trader Joe’s. And by Trader Joe’s original brand food. Love get Mason TJ eats because. A save some bucks they’re tasty and I know my friend trader Joseph hand minimums. Well have a van. Former employee has written a book. I’ll whistle blower and he has. I said he’s a former employee I’m sorry he’s a writer Vance Dixon. And he has written a book he used the Freedom of Information Act to require. Trader Joe’s to give him their insider information about where their food and favorite snacks come from and guess what. These traitor Joseph things it’s your buying and AM fancy I go to. I’m part of hit PDs beg industries because I’ve got Trader Joe’s brand stuff guess what. Generic a lot of it is just generic stuff that you could get a mile down the street and another store but it’s got Trader Joe’s stamp on that though. Are you telling me traitor Joseph I didn’t make it Trader Joe’s gluten free chocolate chip cookie that sob losers who do live from national wholesaler Tate bake shop cookies and get right down mysteries jobs from takes you out there those are basically Tate’s cookie. Cook there’s eighteen Oscar odds would Trader Joe’s and I’ll kids here have these organic animal crackers from Trader Joe’s. Still first organic animal crackers. Okay. Nick you’ve been like home I feel completely duped here on. I love this gives you disgusting people your peeing in the shower and your comments and celery and stuff like that all the way below ILL let an awful lot golly gosh yeah. I’m an honest to god. It just like wow hey here’s a here’s a professor. An author an important voice in the digital age and depression. Combat. And now let’s go into government interviewed there are triple. Promises celery envy in the shower what’s wrong with us. How many can you feed me and in a pita chips with the in. Trader Joe’s hum this yes honey I can because it’s Trader Joe’s Imus that makes us special. Tried Mediterranean foods you can get anywhere. And Trader Joe’s smooth these budging Trader Joe’s released no you don’t you drink smoothies made by naked smooth these. Oh while yet with those naked juice a pretty certain that they are you know what else ever they’re learning. Now doesn’t that they’re not lying to me because it just is traitor Joseph audited by the right. To basically sell someone else’s product with the label and here’s the best fighting. No it’s not because you wanna wind mine it’s cheaper retreated if you’re at dinner show brands are actually cheaper on average approximately 37% cheaper despite buying from other companies. Not while like Trader Joe’s Peter chips to someone make those absolutely pita chips that the putt putt on a pretzels chips are believed to be snapped. Make snack factory script that’s press offense yeah yeah I know there is okay Madison she heard it Trader Joe’s. Like pita chips are addicted there won it yet one. Pita chips daisies Stacy speedy jets in the cheaper but it’s weird when you eat those. Pita chips to give blood drawn. Story number two. Now and I’m CI a brought you down and act are brought to down as you meant you had your back turned on you by your precious Trader Joe’s moment to bring it back up right now. Guess who single. Kurt Russell. That. That would Anna Kendrick site. That a hot weather woman from The Today Show I think local. Local celebrity that you love female she’s in her relationship and an NFL tight end no longer. Aaron Hernandez’s X one. Hot so she knows it’s. A gold medalist Alley. Oh yeah isn’t. Rules says that she asked cutie ended her relationship with NFL tight end goal known brewed with it doesn’t effect the back operators tied and six months of dating. They are done taking a break right now Underwood confirmed to the Lincoln journal star recently still good friends but all that traveled been in nightmare. And now just in time could you check out her bikini shots late she. I am such a fan pride of need and she gives metro west in the entirety of these Boston. A bar she’s funny that this. None out he’s boss he’s masters eastern Massachusetts. She gives a dollar gold medal I like a leash it’s acrimony she’s agenda. And our attention paid to Bruin. Ali actually acting human being married. She’s cute. Now this video Nick’s story number theory is it’s going to be more parental stuff to the feel like are for you today but as clinging on this is. This is a responsible. We’re talking about grocery yes they were talking about mental health digital addiction and now more Montauk. Say and there’s like a little theme there was a theme yesterday to the show today there’s a name. This is a video that’s gone viral of a mom and you can find it on Facebook or online anywhere she’s got that you back up mascot and that’s. A liar aren’t designed to advance. She got like. Millions and her whole life changed some did a story honor recently. That you Bachmann no this is a new mom twenty million views this thing has already Boone and it’s popped up on my socially like three or four different times and the someone’s. Someone asks me about it we’ll play golf. So this mom com is the situation. And her son goes off to college. And is refusing. To call her and her husband the parents probably because he knows cellphones can be addictive so she hit hit. So she. Then took her device. And filmed this video message it goes on for three minutes it’s a Larry this is her message. To her son at college. Who will not. Call his mommy misses her sarcastic message to him. When hearing your dorm at night you’d like late and I think now. What are you fed me for the first eighteen years tonight welcome. I wanted to get but that was me I was late breakfast lunch did Eric packed lunches. Daddy helped to give my 180. He’s 66 foot tall really dark hair McRae. Well there. So. She’s very funny she got it up on CNN of having your own Celeron Eleanor somethings but the best part is then she starts teaching him how to use his phone. Which is great. So I’m teaching how to use of photos show. Basically what you and it usually grab the phone. You know the one that mommy and daddy bought Sharon and unlocked. And I knew that you know what that passcode is because I know someone text his girlfriend every day and car. So unlocked phone and that the bottom you’re gonna support and icons go the one that’s like. Think it’s green with a White Lake had set in her pants and I don’t know what they were called but we used to use a month we were younger in new generation respected their parent. Well there’s cure sick bird three sick burns what could possibly be worse if you are. This obnoxious nineteen year old school. And you get mom machines on social media and now all of a sudden all your friends are coming up to you. Like in the dining hall aquatic class whatever they’re like oh my by the liberation call your mom yeah evolve Italian in do what you watch it man coaches your mom Du’Shon on the regular guy how embarrassing. And she’s got 00 she’s got a cute to issue. Parents got to Deborah SaaS tour is very very funny very well done. Yes so. Call your mom kids. Receive. Hoosiers. All man. And this is it has been I think three weeks since he’s from a nice right now. What I’m all there are. Lots of dialogue. Skype mom’s okay. Richard got one at all. Or maybe you cannot have a birthday on the anniversary amount step like partners must do. At certain that I knew that everybody is about today. Special day for me to. Well I’d I’d blow out my celebratory candles and god blew out her life candles. And. I. If I didn’t heard. Home. And it. Agreed that the pain. Try instances. What would you go about funerals it is. It’s not like tonight our kids did. And that is way to undergo hours of yet another one on my. Hopefully is and know how high low low. Owes a debt threat. Danica now that that actually triggering Debra Byrd to the show or just like down in the parts are evidence of how. All right story. Number four. This one queen we heard about this story before but now the laws involved the judges are involved. Arizona. I’ll paint the scene for you Arizona Metallica concert. Disliked what we went to east is in nick. K this was an Arizona and man his wife and their ten year old daughter having a blast to party in rock and a Metallica we know that tours incredible suddenly they feel warm liquid running down their back well well lowers his story you know are gone they turned back around. They see Daniel daddy you know who appears as space and just drugs that’s right because good old Danny patio. Took a leak on the family groves. And the judge is none too happy. I have to say in the fifteen years I’ve been on the best this is one of the most discussing scenarios I’ve ever read. I don’t know if you were just completely I don’t wanna use the word I’ll just a drop armed with. And I got a few more which again. So don’t he had a family just all tipped. You wanna to out to show me copying out of fail is not the best what a great tip many thanks so much I report. Yeah side cut to nick goes to to do list means. Listen OK well that’s gross stuff thanks a lot blown the cover. OK okay. This begs the immediate. Question sidebar ADD radio here today. What’s the grosses her dumbest or craziest thing you’ve ever done. When you were intoxicated isles start since I brought it up wait at a concert know how diligent venerable public TD. Concert your friend’s house movie theater. I ripped the jail on the T once. Good for you guess what the New York between now out he pulled over the Red Line that pulled over between wolves in North Quincy my friends and our ham Ed. Pulled over through walls and Quincy driver walks two cars down. I get out of manually open the doors kicks us all right off the track at a walk five miles home. And so funny then.

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Fight and Flight – North Coast Journal08.10.17


THE DARK TOWER. It’s never surprising when a Stephen King novel series is adapted for film, but an eight-book series? In 95 minutes? The Dark Tower turns out to be a later chunk of that series, with a prequel TV show on the horizon. One hopes that project fares better and makes the most of the actors wasted here.

We’re told in the opening shot that the only thing guarding our world is the tower at the center of the universe, which can be felled “by the mind of a child.” With that setup, we meet Jake (Tom Taylor), a gaunt adolescent obsessively drawing creepy scenes from his nightmares about another world filled with rodent-like creatures masquerading as humans, sapping the minds of children to power a laser attack on the aforementioned tower. There, the Gunslinger, a dusty, sad-eyed Idris Elba, duels with the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), who’s less like Johnny Cash and more like Gucci-era Tom Ford’s idea of Lucifer. Eventually, Jake leaps into that other world to team up with the Gunslinger, hike the barren landscape and battle the Man in Black back on Earth.

The story connects to King’s other works and hits all his buttons: a troubled psychic boy, his well-meaning mother and cold stepfather, a heroic late father and even a wild-eyed prophetic homeless man. Director Nikolaj Arcel (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2009) moves through the exposition so quickly that it feels like a hasty book report, skimming past the deeper themes in a story ultimately about fathers and sons. Action sequences are rushed and obscured by darkness, though the supernatural gunplay is good fun.

The Dark Tower is, however, a chance to see Elba who was alternately terrifying and charismatic as Stringer Bell in HBO’s The Wire and who overshadowed lead Charlie Hunnam in Pacific Rim (2013) in a too-rare lead role. Paired with a young actor not quite up to the task, Elba carries the film with his glowering intensity, quiet grief and hesitant attempts at connecting. McConaughey, too, is at least having a good time, runway-strutting around with his disco-goth shirt unbuttoned, catching bullets and bullying his management staff. One wonders what they might have done with more time and script. PG13. 95m. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK, MINOR.

DETROIT. In making a movie based on a true story, even a documentary, there will always be something left out and there will always be some of the teller in the telling. In this moment, making a movie about racist police brutality seems doubly risky, but also doubly necessary. Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, who teamed up for The Hurt Locker (2008) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012) have stitched together a fictionalized account of the crushing story of people killed during the 1967 Detroit riots based on witness testimony, records and interviews. It may seem a departure from their previous projects but they build the film on familiar territory: fear, violence and the lingering price of survival.

After a quick animated brush-up on the history of African American migration to industrial centers like Detroit, we cut to the social club bust that sparked the uprising in that city. Soon the revolt escalates from throwing bottles to looting and burning buildings, and the National Guard is rolling through the streets in tanks, shooting at kids in windows in its hunt for snipers. Into this ugly mess roll a trio of jittery, young, white cops led by Krauss (Will Poulter, all pink-faced rage), who’s put back on the street after an indisputably bad shooting/murder with a “Calm down out there” from his superior. He and his crew, aided by National Guardsmen, double down on abusing their authority to tragic results when a prank leads them to a possible sniper at the Algiers Hotel. There, Motown hopeful Larry (Algee Smith) and his pal/manager Fred (Jacob Latimore) are licking their wounds, chatting up a couple of white girls and waiting out the night after the riots cancel a performance in front of an A&R man. They, along with a handful of other black men will spend the night lined up with their faces to a wall, beaten bloody and interrogated, some of them killed. Throughout the night, Dismukes, a black security guard at a nearby grocery store, played by the earnest John Boyega (The Force Awakens, 2015), attempts to walk the tightrope of cooperating with the police when they are clearly bent on violence, looking the other way and urging calm among the hostages and that is what they are so they might “survive the night.”

The film maintains an undercurrent of panic throughout, so we are braced for impact even when Larry is immersed in his own disappointment, singing to an empty auditorium. To a person, the actors put in devastating performances, not only in the adrenaline-fueled night at the hotel, but in the aftermath, when the city is snowed over and the survivors are hobbled by the trauma of what they’ve endured. Aside from one ham-fisted “good cop” moment, the film and its cast succeed in showing us not only the extreme bad actors but the complicity, individual and systemic, that set the stage for their crimes and leave them unpunished.

Somewhere in the relentless, unflinching violence, you may wonder if there is a point to showing all of it, face after bloodied face. The best justification comes within the movie itself, when Carl (an excellent Jason Mitchel) waves a gun and menaces his friend in imitation of a white cop, “demonstrating white power.” You’ve got to feel it to wrap your mind around it. It’s a story white Americans, directors and writers among them, can own and tell, too. R. 143m. BROADWAY, MILL CREEK, MINOR.

KIDNAP. Did three films with black lead actors open in the same weekend in Humboldt? So they did. And one is even a fun, if slightly goofy, thriller. Who knew?

Halle Berry plays Karla, harried waitress and divorced single mom who is tirelessly upbeat with her son. While at the park and on the phone with her divorce lawyer, a couple (Chris McGinn and Lew Temple) snatch her son (Sage Correa) and take off with him in a beater car. Dropping her phone as she runs, Karla jumps in her minivan and sets off after the kidnappers in a wild highway chase that leaves a wake of piled up cars. Why they take him doesn’t really matter we’re in it for the chase.

Talking to herself in the car, Berry’s monologues can seem a bit like self affirmations and her tough talk is clunky, but she does a solid job on the action and the ebb and flow of panic throughout the film. Sure, you’ve got to suspend disbelief and look past some messy editing, but there are genuine thrills to be had, like when the minivan runs low on gas or a cop tries to pull Karla over. Hell, there’s even a pivotal scene with a landline phone. And when the inscrutable kidnappers show themselves, McGinn, with her narrow, glinting eyes, and Temple, who may have just ended the trucker hat trend, set a new bar for greasy desperation. R. 82m. BROADWAY, MILL CREEK.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

For showtimes, see the Journal’s listings at or call: Broadway Cinema 443-3456; Fortuna Theatre 725-2121; Mill Creek Cinema 839-3456; Minor Theatre 822-3456; Richards’ Goat Miniplex 630-5000.


ANNABELLE: CREATION. Everybody is freaking out about scary clowns but the real threat is creepy dolls, right? R. 109m. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK.

CITY OF GHOSTS. Documentary about activist citizen journalists and their underground resistance against ISIS. Directed by Matthew Heineman. R. 92m. MINIPLEX.

THE GLASS CASTLE. Based on Jeannette Walls’ memoir, this family drama stars Brie Larson as a young woman growing up poor and on the road with her alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson). PG13. 127m. BROADWAY.

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER. This update on the original documentary starring Al Gore focuses on the possibility of an “energy revolution.” PG. 98m. BROADWAY.

THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE. Squirrely sequel about animals trying to save their park. Voiced by Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph and Jackie Chan. PG. 91m. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK.

JURASSIC PARK (1993). Yes, this is now old enough to be a “flashback” movie and those of us who saw it in the theater are officially dinosaurs. Please preserve me in amber. PG13. 127m. BROADWAY.


ATOMIC BLONDE. Stunt-man-turned-director David Leitch brings Cold War cool, exceptional fight choreography and a quieter, better paced spy movie than the trailer suggests. Charlize Theron delivers a winking, knife-edged performance. R. 109m. BROADWAY, MILL CREEK.

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan star in a romantic comedy that breaks new ground as boy meets girl and girl goes into coma. Michael Showalter directs this deceptively simple, unassuming movie in which the deeply funny is juxtaposed with the devastating. R. 120M. MINOR.

DESPICABLE ME 3. An out of work Gru (Steve Carell) returns to a life of crime, meets his long-lost twin and battles a villain stuck in the ’80s (Trey Parker). With Kristen Wiig. PG. 156m. BROADWAY.

DUNKIRK. Christopher Nolan’s focused and intimate telling of this World War II story of pinned troops, outnumbered airmen and hail-Mary civilian rescue effort brings each character to life with the wave-action of hope and hopelessness. PG13. 106M. BROADWAY, FORTUNA, MILL CREEK, MINOR.


ENDLESS POETRY. Chilean filmmakerAlejandro Jodorowsky’s auto-biopic about joining the bohemian scene in his youth during the 1940s. NR. 128m. MINIPLEX.

GIRLS TRIP. Almost 30 years after “Ladies First” dropped, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish star in this crass tale of four lifelong friends’ trip to the Essence Festival in New Orleans. R. 122M. BROADWAY.

MAUDIE. Sally Hawkins stars in this biopic of arthritic artist Maud Lewis, who painted in Nova Scotia. With Ethan Hawke as her taciturn husband. PG13. 115m. MINOR.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. Co-writer/director Jon Watts (Clown, 2014;Cop Car, 2015) makes good on a tremendous opportunity here, utilizing a talented cast to great effect and bringing the franchise back to its sweetspot. PG13. 133M. FORTUNA, BROADWAY, MILL CREEK.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS. Luc Besson’s comic book adaptation feels misconceived with its story of an idyllic planet ravaged by humankind, poorly constructed military intrigue and a thin love story. PG13. 137M. BROADWAY, MILL CREEK.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES.Caser (Andy Serkis) sets out on a quest of vengeance after the apes are pulled into war with a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson). PG13. 150M. BROADWAY.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Preacher season 2, episode 8 recap: Holes – FanSided08.08.17

Last week was the start ofPreacherssecond half of the season, which is why they dedicated it to introducing the new villain. Herr Starrs debut couldnt have gone any better, as his scenes were the perfect mix of menacing and funny.

This episode was all about catching the viewer up on Eugene. And while we didnt get Herr Starr, we did see Lara Featherstone for the first time since the third episode. Seeing her become friends with Tulip can only be damaging for the group.

Eugene has taken Mannerings advice to heart. Hes suddenly jacked, has a tattoo on his back saying Tracy and everyone seems intimidated by him. But when Mannering comes to the common room, she takes someone down to the hole for committing a nice gesture. That sends the rest of the inmates into a frenzy until Tyler sticks someone in front of a TV fireplace which actually feels like fire. Eugene asserts his dominance over Hitler by shoving him out of the way.

Preachershows us the origin of Cassidy and Denis by flashing back to 1946. He immediately spots a baby he likes and starts singing a Gaelic lullaby to him. In the present day, Cassidy continues to flat out deny Denis request for eternal life. Denis wakes him up by saying bite me in French.

When Tulip still cant sleep, he asks whether Cassidy wants to go out with her, possibly back to the Hurt Locker. She says Jesse isnt interested because hes too caught up in searching for God. But when Cassidy says he should stay with Denis, she leaves on her own.

Back at the Grails headquarters, Lara is spying on Jesse via a hidden camera. He asks Cassidyabout going to the video storeso they can blow up the image on Gods audition tape. Cassidy seems uninterested in it, but he asks Jesse if he can use Genesis to heal Denis. Jesse declines because hes not sure if itll help. As he watches Tulip come back from Hurt Locker, he can tell how distanced shes become even though she asks to come with him.

Mannering gives everyone an update when she says they can go back to their cells shortly, much to their dismay. When she asks who among them isnt supposed to be here, Eugene begins to raise his hand before thinking better of it. A bunch of people say theyre Spartacus leading Mannering to take matters into her own hands.

When Hitler tries to call Eugene on it, he tries to say Im the evilest person in the room. About that When he begins to explain what happened to Tracy, that confirms his suspicions, but Eugene says he doesnt deserve to get out. As a woman trips over, Eugene helps her up and Hitler saysthat was nice of him. It got caught on camera and Mannering comes to take care of it.

After the Dork Docs successfully blow up the image, they gleefully tell Jesse that you cant identify the serial number. They initially think Jesse was the one who shot him, and he brought him the tape to cover his ass. When he tells him thats not the case, and he genuinely wants to find out, they have to start from the beginning.

Tulip places the new fridge in front of the bullet hole. But having it there still gives her nightmares, so she goes through the arduous process of covering them all up with paint. When she gets to the final room, thats where the Grail have set up shop. Lara begins to panic when she knocks and asks who else is there. Lara opens the door witha wig on while theyre able tohide their underground operation. She introduces herself as Jenny to Tulip, who invites her out to Hurt Locker.

Mannering brings Eugene to the hole, an actual manhole where he has to relive his Tracy experience all over again at the bottom. But this time, when he goes to kiss her, she doesnt turn him away. She admits that she likes him as well and they sing Closing Time together. But Tracys boyfriend, Jesse, comes out ofthe bathroom and they start making out in front of him. After they ignore his repeated requests to stop, he turns the shotgun on himself and pulls the trigger.

Later that night, in the bunk, Hitler tells Eugene he wants to help him escape from Hell.

Despite being a preacher, Jesse says he knows Gods not really there while praying. When the Dork Docs call him over again, they confess to having nothing after trying everything. They take out the DVD which, upon further inspection, is property of Grail Industries.

Cassidy calls up another Irishman named Sheamus and asks for help, confiding in him about Denis. He refuses to help, saying hes probably got hundreds of sons out there while referring to him as Proinsias.He goes back and sings Denis the same song that he sang to him in the hospital. Lord knows what effect itll have on him this time around.

While Eugene clearly doesnt belong in Hell, hes not doing himself any favors by confiding his trust in Hitler. He really wants to escape himself, and needs Eugene to help him. Hopefully he can come to his senses and realize who hes dealing with before its too late.

Seeing Lara, aka Betsy Kettleman, come back on the show was a very welcoming sight. But it doesnt help that Tulips taken a liking to her so soon after trying to get over the Saint of Killers. If Jesse does end up finding God, she could lead her and the Grail right to him, which is the last thing they need.

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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice review an insane quest in a nightmare world – VentureBeat08.08.17

Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice is both great and terrifying, taking the player on a journey into madness.

In the game from British game studio Ninja Theory, the Celtic warrior Senua struggled with inner demons locked in a battle over her mind, and she carries a sword that makes her a lethal danger. She is on a quest to save her beloved Dillion, who has been slain by Northmen. Senua must go to the Norse version of hell to not just retrieve Dillion from the dead but also deal with the legacy of her ill-fated parents. It is an insane quest in a nightmare world, undertaken by a hero who is so emotionally disturbed that you wonder if all of it takes place in her head.

Above: Dream or nightmare in Hellblade.

Image Credit: Ninja Theory

This is perhaps the scariest game Ive ever played, and not just because it goes over the top with the violence, gore, and burning bodies. Given its subject matter about insanity, you could say that the graphics are understated. It is not about pure horror. Rather, it is a fantasy sword-fighting game that tries to capture what its like to be afflicted in a world where you see things that no one else can see. The subject matter is disturbing, and I wouldnt recommend it for all audiences.

But it is an important game, debuting today for PC and PlayStation 4.

As the player, you see the world through Senuas eyes, and you feel an enormous sense of empathy for her struggle.Ninja Theory has worked closely with psychiatrist and professor of health neuroscience, Paul Fletcher, from the University of Cambridge, to accurately portray Senuas mental illness. The project received support fromWellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that focuses on health.

The sword battles are awesome. But the ultimate lesson comes from Dillion:The hardest battles are fought in the mind, not with the sword.

Check out ourReviews Vaultfor past game reviews.

A strong female character with an ordinary look

Above: Senua is an ordinary character, except for the blue tattoo.

Image Credit: Ninja Theory

Senuas actor is Melina Juergens. She was Ninja Theorys video editor, and she was a stand-in at first. But she did such a good job that the developers cast her. The video game character doesnt have a super-endowed physique, like many video game characters of the past, and thats good. She looks like an everyday woman. This makes the game more realistic. It makes a strong statement that video game characters dont have to be superheroes. They can be ordinary people who are put into impossible situations and deal with it as best they can.

Senua is vulnerable and emotionally distraught for much of the story. She screams (with good reason) often. But she finds strength through her quest, and this rage transforms her into a badass opponent that demons and gods fear. Outstanding movie-like cutscenes and dramatic pacing tells a story that, in scene after scene, starts out slow and then reaches a nightmare crescendo. With the lead being a woman, it brings out more emotion in the protagonist and it turns the old rescue tropes on their heads.

A deep exploration of mental illness

Senua makes a journey into hell, searching for her loved one. She battles demons, real and imagined. She hears voices in her head. Sometimes they are useful, like when they tell her to watch out behind her during a sword fight with multiple opponents. But much of the time, they are there to place doubts in Senuas mind, eating away at her purpose. She must push them aside and continue on her quest to bring back the dead.

This journey is a metaphor for a real descent into madness, and I spent much of the time worried about how it would turn out. Would we discover that it was all in her head, and that she was ill? Or that she was the only sane person in a world driven mad by petty gods and all-to-real monsters? Should Senua give in to the inner demons or continue on her quest? And maybe you, as the player, are the insane one?

The depiction of madness comes into the gameplay. One of the most interesting puzzle mechanics is when you try to line up something in your vision, so that you can see through the illusion and discover a hidden path. This is one of Senuas gifts. She sees things that no one else perceives. Thats a definition of madness, but its also the definition of genius. The gameplay gives you a chance to see that thin line.

Outstanding facial animation

Above: Thats Senua under all that blood and grime.

Image Credit: Ninja Theory

Ninja Theory does an outstanding job of realistically rendering an animated human face better than Ive seen in any other game. The studios used the Unreal Engine, 3 Lateral, and Cubic Motion technology to capture Juergens acting performances and render them as an animated game character. The nuances of facial movement are exact. Senuas eyes are expressive, watering up in emotional moments and expressing fright during moments of terror. Over time, Senua collects dirt, scars, and bloodstains on her face, but underneath, you can see it is still her. I think were over the uncanny valley, or the notion that the more realistic an animation of a human face becomes, the more eerie and wrong it feels.

Reminders of the past

The story reminds me of Michael Moorcocks classic fantasy novels, like Elric of Melnibone. Elric has a sword that turns him into a demon slayer, but the champion is also cursed. In contrast to Moorcocks Eternal Champion series, Senuas Sacrifice features a female hero. It flips those books around; Senua also finds a legendary sword that can slay gods, but it brings her much pain as well.

It also takes me back to works of art like Dantes Inferno, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and What Dreams May Come. These tales of a descent into hell are disturbing, but none so much as this one because of the depiction of madness.

Difficult sword fights

Above: Axe or sword?

Image Credit: Ninja Theory

The sword-fighting is relentless. Like in Ubisofts For Honor, you must get the timing just right. You can thrust, do a quick slash, or aim a heavy blow. But you arent all-powerful, and even one of the weaker villains can bring you down if you get your timing wrong. When you have the advantage, you must press it. And when you are fighting an all-powerful enemy, you have to use your accumulated focus, which enables you to slow down time and get in a bunch of blows all at once. But that doesnt make it easy. You cant even hit some of the demons until you use your focus, and then you have to wait for it to build up again before you can strike. I fought many battles over and over. It felt like I was in a duel in Game of Thrones.

Variations in gameplay

This would be a boring game if all it had was swordfights. After all, Senua doesnt even have a shield or a bow. But she also spends a lot of time escaping from nightmares. Sometimes, this means creeping in total darkness past some beasts who are breathing heavily. Sometimes it means she must spot symbols in the landscape while fleeing a fire. As mentioned, you have to spend a lot of your time solving puzzles by looking at the same scenes from different points of view. I thought these variations in gameplay, just like the story itself, were wonderfully creative.

Above: I defeated this sort of character maybe 50 times in Hellblade.

Image Credit: Ninja Theory

Occasional clipping

One in a while, when you are climbing circular stairs, the graphics do a hiccup and you start walking through the wall. This also happens during fight scenes, and it means that for a moment, it blocks your view. You have to move in order to get back to normal graphics, but in hand-to-hand combat, this can often mean that youre a split-second too slow, and youll die.


While the sword battles are challenging, they are also repetitive. If you die in a melee in which you must take out 10 enemies, youll have to start all over again. This means you have to develop your sword-fighting skill over the games course. But it also means that youll see the same half-dozen enemies over and over again. If you dont enjoy the basic swordplay as much as I did, then this could drive you nuts.

Faceless villains

You battle many evil warriors, but they dont really have faces. We know that Ninja Theory is capable of creating outstanding human faces. But it chose to depict the villains wearing masks. Some of these villains, like Senuas father, have devilish voices that can freak you out. Perhaps this is a good thing, as the only fleshed-out character is Senua herself. But I wished that Ninja Theory had invested in creating a more memorable villain to counter Senuas heroism.

Above: Real or madness? Its all-too-real for Senua.

Image Credit: Ninja Theory

You could say that the weak villains, repetitive play, lack of multiplayer, and clipping bugs could doom a game like Hellblade. But Ill happily overlook those because of the great character, compelling acting, awesome cinematics, beautiful environments, variety of gameplay, and its deep exploration of madness. It is a difficult game to beat, and it is hard to experience.

The ending of the game will leave you wondering just what was real and what was an illusion. I thoroughly enjoyed the dramatic arc of each major scene. It starts out calm, moves to disturbing, and then descends into chaos and madness. I think the storytellers and designers exercised tight creative control, with a game that is understated as well as explosive.

It might have been madness for a small studio like Ninja Theory to take on such a herculean task of self-publishing this game, but Im glad they made the effort.

Score: 95/100

Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice comes out for PC and PlayStation 4 on August 8. Ninja Theory sent us a PS4 code for the purposes of this review.

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Peru Two babe suffers swimsuit nightmare as she flaunts new tattoo on ANOTHER holiday – Daily Star08.06.17


Donning a skin tight white swimming costume, the blonde, 24, turned heads as she strolled a beach on yet another holiday in Spain’s sun kissed Balearic Islands.

Former jailbird McCollum one half of the infamous Peru Two was pictured taking a dip and enjoying the hot weather on the glistening sands of Mallorca.

But McCollums saucy choice of bathing suit betrayed her by exposing her flesh in several awkward areas, including a new tattoo on her rib cage.

It is thought her new ink is an Arabic message meaning freedom of God.

Seemingly spending her entire post-conviction life on holiday, convicted drug mule Michaella McCollum was pictured once again flashing the flesh on holiday in Majorca

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Michaella McCollum bares her bikini body on holiday in Majorca


The tattoo could be a reference to her time spent locked up in a grim Peruvian jail after she and a friend, Melissa Reid, were caught trying to smuggle 1.5 million of cocaine.

But now McCollum has put her crime past behind her, she has been enjoying her freedom in the sunny climes of Spanish holiday hotspots.

As she gallivanted across the beach, McCollum appeared to catch the attention of two young men who checked her out as they walked by.

Perhaps McCollums exposed side boob is what caught their attention.


Michaella didn’t look happy to be joining the dole queue.

In candid pictures taken last week, McCollum went topless for a massage as she topped up her tan on another beach in Mallorca.

But it has not all been plain sailing for McCollum in the wake of her release from prison.

Just weeks ago McCollum was reportedly spotted “joining the dole queue” a bizarre contradiction of pictures showing her lavish lifestyle.

In April, the Sunday Mirror reported that McCollum was spotted appearing to be claiming benefits just days after returning from Spain.


Speaking to the paper, a fellow job seeker said: Michaella didn’t look happy to be joining the dole queue.

I was surprised to see her there after all the photos of her enjoying herself on holidays abroad.

A spokesperson for McCollum admitted to Daily Star Online that she has attended a job centre since returning to the UK, but gave a conflicting timeline of events.

Convicted drug mule Michaela McCollum has been snapped on the beach enjoying yet ANOTHER holiday. McCollum was photographed enjoying a massage and soaking up the sun in a skimpy bikini in Mallorca

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Michaella McCollum enjoys a massage on the beach in Majorca


McCollum and her pal Reid were both aged 20 when they were arrested at Jorge Chvez International Airport in Lima, Peru in 2013.

The pair were sentenced to six years behind bars but were released after three.

Now McCollum is attempting to become a model and reality TV star and is reportedly working on a tell-all book about her time in jail.

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It Forgot The Face Of Its Father: ‘The Dark Tower’ Was Reportedly A Nightmare Behind The Scenes – moviepilot.com08.06.17

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Review: Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ crams 50-pound story in 5-pound bag – WTOP08.04.17

WASHINGTON Stephen King may be the most prolific author of book-to-film adaptations, from Carrie (1976) to Misery (1990) to The Shining (1980). Even his short stories have sparked big-screen gems, from Stand By Me (1986) to The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

So its profoundly disappointing to find that Hollywood just botched its attempt to adapt Kings self-proclaimed magnum opus, his epic eight-novel sci-fi series The Dark Tower.

Opening in New York City, 11-year-old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) is a social outcast who sketches otherworldly images from recurring nightmares. His mother (Katheryn Winnick) thinkshes having trouble coping with his fathers death, but the images turn out to be real depictions of Mid-World, a far-off land resembling the Old West with futuristic qualities.

Before long, Jake is pulledinto Mid-World to help aging marksman Roland Deschain aka The Gunslinger (Idris Elba) in his battle against evil sorcerer Walter ODim aka The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), whos trying to destroy a tall Dark Tower that binds the universe.

This setup is intriguing for the first 15 minutes. We watch with curiosity as Jake uses his shine (i.e. Danny Torrance) to sketch premonitions of a supernatural tower like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Even when Walters henchmen show up disguised with sewn-on skin, the suspense is effective thanks to Ella Gabriel, who deserves praise for her brief yet creepy performance akin to Billie Whitelaw in The Omen (1976).

This early potential builds until Jake arrives at an abandoned house, where he conveniently knows the secret pass code for a device that opens a portal to an alternate dimension. Even so, we the viewers are still on board as Jake steps toward the portal until a fake-looking special effect suddenly brings the floorboards to life in a CGI tornado that breaks our spell.

By this point, youll realize that the movie is already charting a different path from the books. In the series first novel, Jake enters Mid-World via death, pushed in front of traffic by The Man in Black. The Gunslinger only stumbles upon Jake at a weigh station in Mid-World, before ultimately sacrificing the kid at the end of the first book by letting him fall into the abyss.

Why on (Keystone) Earth would the filmmakers turn Jake into the main character? Its an odd decision to tell the film through a kids eyes when you already have an epic, adult struggle between Golden Globe winner Idris Elba (Luther) and Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). Thus, the story becomes unnecessarily dumbed-down into childs play.

Its not that Taylor is a bad child actor; he finds charming chemistry with Elba infish-out-of-water moments. After Thor (2011) and Wonder Woman (2017), such scenes have become a genre staple, as Elba interacts with hospital nurses, a gun shop owner and a hot-dog vendor. While these gags aim for our funny bone, Elba later hits our hearts with his spiritual mantra:

I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.I aim with my eye.I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father.I shoot with my mind.I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.I kill with my heart.

Elba is tailor-made for such stoicism, demonstrating calm, poise and self-control amid the apocalyptic chaos. McConaughey takes the exact opposite approach, going for broke as the sinister villain, whispering in victims ears to stop breathing. The first few times they collapse, its pretty badass, but the more he uses his tricks, he becomes too omnipresent, appearing everywhere and disposing his foes so swiftly that we wonder why he doesnt just end it all.

The problem isnt McConaugheys commitment to the performance, its the silly situations hes placed in. Note the way he casually cooks in Winnicks kitchen compared to the terrifying breaking-and-entering of an underwear-clad Donnie Wahlberg in The Sixth Sense (1999). His speeches are too cute by half, speaking dialogue filled with exposition to explain the rules of magic in this fantasy world,cobbling bits from all the books, including Arthurian legend.

Its quite literally too many cooks in the kitchen, initially written by Lost alums Carlton Cruse and Damon Lindelof for director J.J. Abrams. Next, Ron Howard brought in Oscar-winning writerAkiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to rewrite it with Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man), before the current version by Danishscreenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen (Brothers) and writer/directorNikolaj Arcel (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

This isnt a case of a writer who has no business directing; quite the contrary, Arcelhas five features under his belt, including Alicia Vikander in A Royal Affair (2012). In Dark Tower, Arcel delivers some inspired touches, from the steam-punk atmospherics, to memorable insert shots, from nightmarish flashes, to symbolic parallels to the World Trade Center.

No, the collapse of Dark Tower isntArcels fault; the project was doomed from the start, over-managed by a studio that couldnt pick a perspective. As a result, the film is a mixed-up mess with an unclear protagonist, confusing jumps between the natural and supernatural worlds, and a slew of random monsters that show up like an unwelcome creature feature.

In the end, it feels like a 50-pound story in a 5-pound bag, featuring way too much world-building for a 95-minute movie. Its the opposite of problem of Peter Jacksons Hobbit prequels, which took one small book and stretched it over three long movies. Conversely, Dark Tower takes elements fromeight novels and crams them into one short movie.

Heres hoping the upcoming TV series format allows more breathing room. Until then, were left with a hodgepodge thatll confuse newcomers and disappoint fans. To paraphrase The Gunslingers mantra, Hollywood aimed with its hand but forgot the face of its storys father.

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